What better way for the Blackhawks to tie the NHL record for most consecutive games with a point to start a season than with a win over their archrivals, the Vancouver Canucks, on Tuesday at the United Center.
The 12-0-3 Hawks can tie the league mark of 16 held by Anaheim either by beating the Canucks or getting a point in overtime or the shootout.
The Hawks are so focused on taking it one game at a time that many of them had no idea they were closing in on Anaheim's record. The Ducks went 12-0-4 to start the season in 2006-07.
"I actually thought we were three away," winger Patrick Sharp said. "It's really not an issue in our locker room to be honest with you. We're just playing hard and trying to get better every game. The league is getting better. We've noticed teams have improved since the start of the season, and we want to make sure we do the same.
"I'm sure we'll talk about it now that we're that close, but the idea is just to get better."
The fact that it's the Canucks coming to town is not lost on Sharp.
"That just throws some more incentive into the game," Sharp said. "It seems like it's something new every time we play those guys. It's always a fun atmosphere, especially in this building."
"We know that Vancouver plays well here and it's a great rivalry, as good as any one in the league," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We thought we had a great game in there last time with them and we expect the same Tuesday."
The 12-0-3 start is something the Hawks can be proud of at this point in the season.
"We're happy and we love our start," Quenneville said. "It's a complement to the way the guys approached the start of the year and not getting too excited about where we're at and what we've accomplished."
With Corey Crawford still nursing an upper body injury, Ray Emery will make his third straight start Tuesday against the Canucks.
Emery has a personal record of 5-0.
"It's a good team in front of me," Emery said. "It's a good streak we have going, but we'll take it for what it is and refocus on the next game. I'm the type of guy who doesn't think about that stuff. Other guys might get that to motivate them, but I like to focus on the little things."
Good to see:
Joel Quenneville was happy to see Patrick Sharp bust out of his goal drought on Sunday against the Kings.
Sharp's goal in the second period was his first in 11 games.
"With our offensive guys scoring is important," Quenneville said. "We don't care who scores, but our offensive guys, they like to cash in. He's been productive and that line has been productive, but scoring was obviously good for a guy who likes to score and it's part of his game. It was a big goal for us that time."
Carcillo eager to play:
The way the Hawks are playing has allowed Daniel Carcillo more time to get his right knee strong enough to return to the ice, which he hopes to do this week.
Carcillo has been out since getting hurt on opening day in Los Angeles.
"The team has been amazing so on my part there's been no real urgency because they're obviously playing real well," Carcillo said. "Even if I'm ready, who knows when the time will come that I get a call. Like I've said, all I can do is worry about myself and everything else will fall into place."